Planned collapse saved Air Canada $ 600 million

Planned collapse saved Air Canada $ 600 million
Planned collapse saved Air Canada $ 600 million

Six hundred million dollars. This is the amount that Air Canada will have managed to save thanks to the implementation of a “ploy” by which the carrier managed to get rid of its staff and thus better outsource its maintenance activities to lesser countries. costs.

At least, this is the thesis that representatives of ex-employees of Aveos defended throughout the day yesterday, at the Montreal courthouse, in the context of a long class action lawsuit brought against Air Canada. Initiated in 2017, this class action was authorized by the court in the spring of 2018.

The trial, which could cost the airline more than $ 150 million in compensation, began three weeks ago before Judge Marie-Christine Hivon, of the Superior Court of Quebec. Yesterday’s hearing marked the start of the pleadings stage, which should conclude this trial by tomorrow. If this is the case, the latter will have lasted no less than four weeks.

Unemployment, divorces, suicides …

“We have shown that Air Canada devised a scheme to get rid of its employees, of its expensive labor force, and that it carried it out, that it succeeded in its objective, and that it has – as a result – managed to save $ 600 million in four years, pleaded lawyer Anne-Julie Asselin. […] By carrying out this ploy, Air Canada has left over 2,000 employees behind. “

For hours, the representatives of the former workers reminded the judge of the various testimonies, pieces of evidence, and contradictions which tend to demonstrate the implementation, over several months, of a scheme aimed at severing all ties with her employees. and then cause the “collapse” of Aveos.

Me Asselin recalled in passing the testimonies of some of the some 2,600 former employees – including 1,800 from Quebec – who lost their jobs following the closure of Aveos in March 2012. Stress, anxiety, feeling of betrayal, loss of income, inability to find work, divorce, suicide … would be all experiences lived by former workers.

Punitive damages

The latter accuse Air Canada of having planned to reduce maintenance contracts at Aveos, with the aim of causing its closure. Air Canada would thus have disregarded the constituting act of 1988, which required it to maintain overhaul and maintenance centers in Montreal, Mississauga and Winnipeg.

For all these reasons, they claim compensation for all the economic, psychological and moral damages resulting from the closure of the overhaul centers.

The procedure also aims to obtain punitive damages for infringement of the Charter of human rights and freedoms.

Today, it will be the turn of Air Canada lawyers to begin their argument.

 
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